February 8th, 2009
11:04 AM ET
13 years ago

SC Governor: We're moving close to 'a savior-based economy'


Watch John King's interview with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As many state and local officials clamor for their share of the billions of dollars in federal aid in the stimulus bill under consideration in Washington, South Carolina’s Republican governor is sounding a note of dissent about federal efforts to help the economy.

“A problem that was created by building up of too much debt will not be solved with yet more debt,” Gov. Mark Sanford said Sunday, making a reference to the federal deficit spending that will likely finance the federal stimulus package.

“We’re moving precipitously close to what I would call a savior-based economy,” Sanford also said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

The South Carolina Republican said such an economy is “what you see in Russia or Venezuela or Zimbabwe or places like that where it matters not how good your product is to the consumer but what your political connection is to those in power.”

“That is quite different than a market-based economy where some rise and some fall but there’s a consequence to making a stupid decision,” Sanford said after pointing to the powers granted to the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to help deal with the current economic crisis.

“A lot of people who’ve made some very stupid decisions are being bailed out by the population at large,” he added.

Instead of bailing out failing companies, Sanford told CNN’s John King that the government should let the economy work through the current challenges without intervention.

“We’re going to go through a process of deleveraging,” Sanford said. “And it will be painful. The question is: Do we apply a bunch of different band aids that lengthen and prolong this pain or do we take the band aid off? I believe very strongly: let’s get this thing over with, let’s not drag it on.”

Although Sanford was critical of the federal government’s efforts to get the economy back on track, he equivocated when asked whether he would turn down money in the stimulus package intended for South Carolina which he would control.”

“I think that ultimately we’ll decide that question when we get to it,” the governor said.

soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Larry

    This is the only politician that seems to grasp the economic situation in an intelligent manner--COMMON SINCE-“A problem that was created by building up of too much debt will not be solved with yet more debt,”

    February 8, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Sarty

    Are you putting people first or the party ?

    February 8, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. Charlie in Maine

    Oh my goodness. Thank God they lost the election or idiots like this would be making decisions instead of spewing their idiacy on CNN.

    Thakns to CNN for giving them an outlet.

    February 8, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Dayahka

    Sanford is, of course, correct: In an ideal world, the market forces would work, the lamb would lie down with the lion, people would beat their swords into ploughshares, and all would be right in the world. However, in the real world in which we live, the market has never been free; everyone expects to be forgiven their excesses (people walk away from their debts, banks walk away from their greed, swindlers continue to live in their million-dollar penthouses, all with no penalties beyond a tap on the wrist). Allowing the mythical market to solve the problem would result in a financial system not just insolvent as it is now, but completely broken and we'd be back to a barter economy in an instant; unemployment would be astronomical and social instability would require the immediate imposition of martial law throughout the land; and many heads would be rolling around while the mobs put the guillotine back to work.

    February 8, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. arnie

    Tough choices for America's hungry! I am happy we voted for change and maybe South Carolinians need to think about doing the same. I watched this interview this morning and it was the most heartless human being ever to put words to a mic. But I am not surprise. I am sure the workers nor the business owners planned to fail especially in this economy. It is not that they products are bad. The problem is that people do not have the resources to buy their products. Does the Gov. remember what party was running the country the last eight years? Oh it was the business friendly Republicans. And your reward for granting them leadership is a whopping recession and a deficit beyond measure. Now they want us to adopt their plan again. in his state didn't have a choice in unemployment.

    February 8, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. keeth in california

    He should have been telling this to his own party for the last 8 years.

    February 8, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. Mike in Ca

    Spoken like a true Republican.

    February 8, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. J. Huck

    These republicans can make all noises they can make but the fact of the matter is... THEY ARE INSIGNIFICANT IN THE POLITICAL ARENA.RIGHT NOW... AND MAYBE FOR A LONG TIME.

    They have audacity to tell us, let the markets work its way out, where their failed policy brought us all this mess in the first place. Governor, where are these thoughts when you and your republican cohorts rubber stamped Bush policies.

    Just because you and your beloved Pres. Bush cannot fix the economy, and therefore just PRAY to let the economy work its way out, doesn't mean the nobody can fix the economy.

    Remember this, McCain and YOUR party lost the election because people wants change, NOT THE STATUS QUO, so to sit in the sidelines and DO NOTHING is unacceptable.

    February 8, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Craig

    Just what we need. Yet another republican bearing economic advice. Wonder if any of them have a clue how dumb they sound? Just when you think the dumbest thing anybody's said in the last few years was "Gas is going to $4 a gallon? I didn't know that!" another one pipes up.

    February 8, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Aha! Great minds think alike.

    February 8, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Janice S.

    Gee, that debt wouldn't have anythiing to do with having tax cuts during a wary would it?

    February 8, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Joanna

    Sure its more debt, but its positive debt. It provides short term relief( even if we will not see the effect for at LEAST a yr or so) And long term stability. It funds programs that we need, and invested smartly in our future. We need to make us for lost time. Bush did nothing but baby sit the oval office for 8 long yrs. And for that, we all pay to fix it.

    February 8, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Charlie in Maine

    Note to Republicans, If you are going to be a regional party you really should go for the West because these Southern Republicans are really making you look bad.

    February 8, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. Ricky

    speaking of Russia, the republican party is not much different since they have a dictator, Ole Rush on the radio.............................what a joke he is.

    February 8, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. John

    The stimulus bill is nothing more than old-fashioned DEMOCRAT WARD POLITICS in a larger package.

    Google TAMMANY HALL and read about how the Democrats have always used hand-outs to buy votes.

    February 8, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Jon Davis

    The trilion plus dollars that Bush and the Republicans spent on the war in Iraq, most of which was stolen by the Republican-friendly corporations like Blackwater and Halliburton and which was who were supposed to re-build Iraq, was all spent off the books, i.e., it is NOT appear in the budget, it was ALL DEFICIT.

    So where was the "fiscally-conservative" Gov. Sanford during the last eight years? Supporting the "savior-based economy" that Bush implemented. By the way, many Americans like Bush and Sanford do believe in a "savior-based economy", i.e., they pray to Jesus like Hades that they don't get caught stealing all the money (don't worry, the average taxpayer isn't very bright; but Bernie Madoff is small peanuts compared to Bush & Cheney).

    February 8, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. Don

    I am from SC and Mark Sanford is an idiot. Our state is in deep debt and we are having to borrow from the Fedreal Government just to pay unemployment benefits. Sanford has done little for SC and seems to be positioning himslef for a 2012 run for the White House. You have been warned..SC is in the toilet, much to the lack of leadership from our Governor.

    February 8, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. annoymous-sc

    Governor Sanford has millions so why would he ever consider helping someone out without a job or in need of food....he is like most extreme right wing conservatives in SC all they care about is $$$$ (for themselves), GW's approval rating is probably 70-80% in SC....most vote & speak as they are told they do not have clue to what is really happening....SAD

    February 8, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Humored In Texas

    Governor Sanford, a Republican, has the nerve to mention that it's how "connected" you are in corrolation to your success when discussing a proposal to clean up a GOP-initiated mess?!

    Hey Governor Sanford, did you notice how former-VP Cheney's company, Halliburton, climbed the corporate rankings after Cheney got into office and helped orchestrate the Iraq War?

    Sure you did, but Cheney's a Republican and not subject to your criticism, yet Obama has come in and tried to stimulate the economy with a well thought-out plan, and you immediately starting crowing against it!

    And Governor Sanford, of course you'd accept funds from the stimulus package so you could help your "friends of the program" in South Carolina!!! Who are you fooling?!

    You also mention stupid decisions – would that be like the Iraq War, started by your man, Bush?!


    February 8, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Rob Stumpf

    A "savior based economy".

    ha ha. Right. If you kiss Obama's butt, a check will be in the mail! That's stimulus, Democrap style!

    February 8, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Chipster

    It will be interesting to see if Sanford turns down the money for his state. Do Americans get it yet that supply-side economics doesn't work? Reagan left a huge deficit and recession. Bush #41 left a huge deficit and even reversed his no-tax (read my lips) policy before leaving office. Clinton balanced the budget and left a surplus that Bush #43 squandered. Both parties contributed to the financial sector disaster by deregulating and neither has shown much interest in preventing it in the future. I hope President Obama will insist on the regulations that prevented the financial debauchery that we've witnessed recently.

    February 8, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Patrick

    Yet when Ron Paul said something similiar the main stream media and the republicans (even self proclaimed conservatives) cast him aside as a loon.

    February 8, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Jon Beckley

    This seemingly intuitive logic displays a shocking ignorance of how the economy works. What a surprise it comes from a deep south governor.

    February 8, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. Debbie

    Oh it will NOT be painful for you Mr. Sanford. You along with all the other politicians will NEVER share the hardships the American people are facing right now because of people like YOU. You have your salary with raises and no pay cuts, you have your TAXPAYER funded health insurance. This country is going to pot and I will NOT be here to see it. Ohhhh Canada!

    February 8, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  25. Simmy

    Gov. Sanford governs a state that has 20% of it's people living below the poverty level. With unemployment on the rise, more than half of the other residence, white and black, are now the using, or will be filing for food stamps. His opinions at this time, are as unwanted as fungus on bread. Tell him to take his racist butt back to his tobacco farms.

    February 8, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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